As pandemic awards shows go, none have been as disastrous as last week’s Golden Globes. Despite co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s best efforts, the 78th annual ceremony was torpedoed by technical glitches, various Zoom-related blunders and the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity among its voting body.
And while ratings for most coronavirus-era awards shows have been on a steady decline, only 6.9 million viewers tuned in to this year’s Globes — making it the least-watched ceremony since the 2008 show, which was held as a press conference after the fallout of the writers’ strike.
So, in hopes of avoiding a similar fate, the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards, postponed to April 4 after multiple delays, will be entirely pre-taped and span only one hour.
“We’re looking at trying to do a unique award ceremony in an hour and leave people saying, which they very rarely do [with an awards show], ‘Man, I wish we had more,’” executive producers Todd Milliner told Variety in an interview published on Wednesday.
This year’s SAG Awards will proceed sans host and even a physical set, featuring instead a mixture of scripted comedy segments and the ceremony’s hallmark “I Am An Actor” speeches, which will all be shot and edited prior to the broadcast.
Setting a new precedent for ceremonies to come, the winner for each of the 13 categories will be revealed days before the show. Nominees will sign in to various Zoom breakout rooms, where the victor will be announced and deliver an acceptance speech.
While disclosing the results prior to the telecast leaves the SAGs vulnerable to leaks, executive producer Kathy Connell explained that the organizers hope nominees “respect the show enough and everybody does, and their fellow actors, that they don’t want to disappoint the audience at home by letting any surprises go.”
“It was a combination of, how do we do this, how do we acknowledge our peers, our members and the great performances they are giving — and still be respectful of the fact that there are a lot of people hurting in this country,” she added.
As for who might be popping up at the ceremony, Lily Collin and Daveed Diggs, who announced the nominees via an Instagram livestream, will make an appearance, as well as Sterling K. Brown, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.
This year’s SAG nominations chose to honor a slew of projects snubbed by the Globes. Aside from Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” an entirely new slate of films, including “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “Minari” and “One Night in Miami,” will compete for the night’s top prize for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble.
On the television side, “The Crown” and “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the drama and comedy categories with newcomers like “I May Destroy You,” “The Flight Attendant,” “The Great,” “Ted Lasso” and “Bridgerton” also nabbing nominations.
The 27th annual SAG Awards will now air on TNT and TBS on Sunday, April 4, at 9 p.m. Eastern.